SAP Buys SeeWhy for Its Hybris E-Commerce Platform

SAP AG announced Tuesday that it is buying behavioral marketing provider SeeWhy. The company noted that the acquisition complements its Hybris commerce platform.

In a statement, the company said that "SeeWhy's solutions for automating personalized campaigns in real time are a natural fit with Hybris and SAP and promise even higher returns for our customers' investments in the Hybris omni-commerce platform." Terms of the deal were not made public.

Based in Boston, SeeWhy has more than 4,000 brand customers, and its real-time 1-to-1 marketing campaigns, triggered by individual customer behaviors, are deployed across e-mail and advertising for desktop, mobile and social channels. According to its Web site, the company's focus is on helping "e-commerce merchants reach out to Web site visitors who abandon their online purchase or forms, as soon as they abandon."

Playing Catch-Up

Its platform, CORE, employs in-memory processing to figure out in real time what is the next best action for a given customer, which actions are then implemented on an ecosystem of more than 30 ad, e-commerce and e-mail service providers, Web analytics services and social networks.

SAP is playing catch-up in building a major marketing platform, compared with such competitors as Oracle, Salesforce and IBM. Oracle, for instance, has added the companies Eloqua, Responsys and BlueKai to its stable, and Salesforce has purchased ExactTarget, among others.

A potential complication of the SeeWhy acquisition is that the Boston company's customer roster includes several SAP rivals, such as ExactTarget, Responsys and Salesforce.

Andrew Frank, an analyst with industry research firm Gartner, told us that the SeeWhy purchase "seems like it's primarily focused on the commerce side of behavioral marketing." He described it as "an interesting purchase," but said SAP did not appear to moving on its own into the "ad-tech side" of automated marketing, where ad campaigns are used to attract new customers...

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